“The Butcher Bird”
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 is a German fighter aircraft that combines factors such as high performance, good flying qualities, structural integrity and simple maintenance under combat conditions. The aircraft first took to the air in June 1939 and it was in operational service from March 1941. Among pilots, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was considered to be the Germans’ best fighter during the second world war. For a long time the aircraft was faster and more manoeuvrable than any allied opponent. The allies first had an equivalent aircraft when the Spitfire Mk. IX became operational late in 1942. It is estimated that more than 19,500 Focke-Wulf Fw 190s were produced by factories all over Germany during the second world war.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-3 was built in 1942 at the AGO factory in Ochersleben. The aircraft was allocated to the fighter bomber unit of Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Wing) 5 (JG 5) “Eismeer” (‘Artic Sea’). The aircraft was stationed at Herdla outside Bergen and in Alta, before its squadron was transferred to Petsamo in Finland. On 5 October 1943 Sergeant Hans Gunther Kleemann took off from Petsamo in “Black 3” for a mission in Finnmark. After running into thick snowstorms and running out of fuel, Kleemann bailed out. The aircraft hit the ground west of Kongsfjord. In 1986 what was left of the wreck was taken down from the mountain for restoration and included in the Norwegian Defence Museum’s aircraft collection. The restoration was carried out in the USA and Norway.
The upper sides of the wings and fuselage are painted in grey-green (RLM 74) and grey-violet (RLM 75). The wings also have grey (RLM 02) and the fuselage grey-blue (RLM 76) colours. The spinner is yellow (RLM 27) and dark green (RLM 70). The bottom cowling under the engine and the rudder are painted yellow (RLM 04) and the underside of the fuselage is in light blue (RLM 76). The number 3 is painted on the sides of the fuselage in black with a white edge.
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